On Buzz Lightyear’s Resilience
Long years have passed, but today’s world has yet to achieve full sincerity. Many years, indeed, but society has decided to encourage the Autocrat. I’m talking, of course, about Woody.
He, the one usually rendered as the one true savior of the hermetic community of Slinky Dog, Rex and (the hidden antagonist, lobbyist and oppressor) Mr. Potato Head. He, who with an iron fist and a short sight, ruled the Empire until the arrival of the virtuous gentleman. The savior, the saint, the prophet. The Space Ranger.
The Autocrat, unsurprisingly, destroys every belief that supported Buzz’s ethos with the egotistic assessment that the intended usurper would be out of competition. He, most certainly, was wrong. He failed to address the humility of the Foreigner. Humility that helped him rebuild upon his ashes, maintaining the values that he knew, no matter the story wrapped around them, were eternal and true.
The Prophet of the Stars gave us a deeper understanding of the destructiveness of fights over power and vanity. He helped us see that political commitment is, most of the time, being virtuous and being there for others. He showed how a community that is isolated eventually loses its understanding of life, and how a stranger can be the first among them equals.
He, who is forgotten in his many virtues even before the movie ends, accepts his fate without requiring any apologies. His fuel is not any kind of recognition, but the certainty that his role is both his and important. He is the unattainable standard for a good friend, who does not take into account others’ mistakes despite being the main victim.
But people decided to keep Woody in their hearts, with his failed fight for an autocratic control of an isolated community, with his thorough lack of values, with his exploitation of his link with the community’s deity: Andy. He abused his unearned position and lied on the name of Andy, just to keep himself in power. The community was tricked into thinking God/Andy ever cared about them. In the end, it was all political.
I guess the transition from a theocratic society into a functional, open one has never been easy, nor fair for all. The prize, however, should be worth it in the end.